345A Preston Street, Ottawa – Website
Date of Visit: July, 2017
I chose Salt as an interesting place to visit from their online menu. I made one abortive visit on a Monday, only to discover they are closed that day, and then attended for lunch later that week. Unfortunately I was disappointed on a couple of counts… First, the lunch menu is very abbreviated and, secondly, the dishes I chose, along with the overall service, were not great … Continue reading “Review: Salt – Ottawa”
I wouldn’t call Paella my signature dish exactly, but it is certainly in my top ten favorite dishes and the number of times I have made it at home far outstrips the number of times I have eaten it in a restaurant by a huge margin. After I enjoying a lovely Tapas meal at Sabor in Edmonton back in July, I made a point of returning to try their Paella. I was a little disappointed with a couple of things but I generally found it very good and I thought I would share it with you here…
The menu describes the Seafood Paella as containing prawns, scallops, calamari, clams and mussels, but, as it happened, the shellfish delivery to the restaurant had been delayed so I was a bit vexed that the last two items were not available. I didn’t mind the lack of clams too much but I always add mussels to my own versions and missing them here was very disappointing. Fortunately, the restaurant compensated by increasing the remaining items.
The seafood was complimented by onion, red pepper, peas and green beans. I generally use all these except for the green beans and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice they were here as I am not usually much of a fan. The rice was well infused with saffron, as it should be, and there was also a faint hint of cayenne or other peppery heat.
My only other disappointment was that the dish was not cooked and served in an individual Paella pan, especially since, in consequence, the Soccarat, or bottom-of-the-pan rice crust, was minimal. The seafood had been grilled first then added over the rice, which was actually a nice touch, so I can’t complain about the socarrat too much as I rarely achieve this when I cook Paella in my own, slightly offbeat, method. In short, this was a lovely meal and I enjoyed it very much…
10220 103 St. NW, Edmonton – Website
Date of Visit: July 11, 2015
Sabor is right around the corner from the hotel I was staying at in downtown Edmonton but it initially escaped my notice as most of my explorations thus far had been in the other direction. I passed it on my way back from lunch one afternoon and, after I saw that it has a Tapas menu, I switched my original supper plans and came here instead… Continue reading “Review: Sabor”
This rather simple little preparation is a standard on most tapas menus and, as one might expect, there are many variations. Typically, it involves potatoes that are deep-fried, but pan-fried, roasted and even boiled versions occur. The sauce, while always spicy, can be quite copious, or else little more than a glaze, and recipes often incorporates tomato in the mix, with mayonnaise sometimes being added, both as a sauce ingredient proper, or else drizzled on top before service. Today, I am going to roast chunks of potatoes and then quickly fry them in a light but piquant sauce… Continue reading “Tapas: Patatas Bravas”
Just the other day, out local Co-op started stocking a whole range of deli meats and cheeses all packaged under the Gio trademark, which, I discovered is associated with Daniele Foods of Pascoag, Rhode Island. As you can see, the Spanish Deli sampler package I ended up buying contains Salchichon, which I have never heard of, Serrano Ham, which I have heard of but never tried, and Chorizo, of which I have eaten many varieties. To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting too much from a vacuum-sealed deli product but, aside from the fact that the purportedly self-seal package ripped badly on opening (thus rendering it un-sealable), I was very impressed and pleasantly surprised indeed… Continue reading “Notable Nosh: Gio Brand™ Spanish Deli Sampler”
One of my earliest blog recipes was for a Paella with Seafood and Chicken that I posted almost a year ago. Paella is so commonly served with shellfish of some sort that many would regard it as being a seafood dish but, in fact, that isn’t really the case at all. In Spain, Valencia is considered the spiritual home of Paella and the traditional version there, while still based on saffron infused rice, contains snails, usually rabbit, and sometimes chicken or duck. Beans, often a variety, are always included (frequently along with other green vegetables) and tomatoes are required, although the amounts used vary considerably.
I have been meaning to try a Valencian style Paella for ages now but, sadly, it has been about two years since I have seen rabbit in our local grocery store and I have given up hope of obtaining any at present. Still, some Paellas are made in Valencia using only snails so I figure that a ‘bunny-less’ one containing just snails and chicken should still be alright. Beyond that, I will stick to traditional ingredients (although I prefer to use long-grained rather than short-grained rice), but I will make one departure from tradition in the method of cooking… Continue reading “Paella Valenciana”